Showing posts with label Craigellachie 17. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Craigellachie 17. Show all posts

Craigellachie 17 Years


“Hot Legs”

Whisky Review # 983

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Speyside
Brand: Craigellachie
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 17 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of Re-Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks and Sherried Wood
Finish: 50% in First-Fill Bourbon casks and 50% in First-Fill Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 90-110 (March 2023)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay if you can score it at around 80 US Dollars
Buying Advice: 😐 Plain & too much Alcohol Burn for my liking but that's just me!

Colour: Light Amber (Natural Color)


Please give this Craigellachie some time in the glass before Nosing. It opens up a bit slowly and the initial wafts of Alcohol are quite strong. As always avoid sticking your nose in the middle of your glass. The Nose is not very complicated and the Sherry cask influence is clear. As a result, Malt and loads of Dried - (Dark) Red Fruits lead the way. Some are Sweet and some slightly Sour. There's a bit of Sulphur in the air but it doesn't really bother me. All in all not bad but a bit plain.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Bread Dough, Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Apricots, Figs and Plums, Dark Red Fruit (Berries, Cherries), Slightly Sour Citrus (Orange, Mandarin, Lemon), Bounty Bars, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Mint & Cinnamon.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Wax, Green Apple, Pear, Mango, Marzipan, Nougat, Pepper, Green Herbs and hints of Meadow Flowers, Licorice, Metal coins and Glue.


This is my first Craigellachie Distillery bottling. I had a few Indie bottles in the past but none of them were very convincing. And this official 17 years won't make me a huge fan of Craigellachie Single Malt as well. But it's strong and powerful and as such quite suitable for Blended Whisky. On the Palate the 17 years is quite a Power House with lots of Malt and Alcohol. You would expect a much higher ABV in a blind tasting. The Palate presents a mix of Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty notes and I identify the same main drivers as on the Nose. The Sulphur is more noticeable now  but it's not too bad.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dough, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Apricots and Plums, Dark Berries and Cherries, Bitter Orange, Grass, Dusty Charred Oak, Butter, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Honey, Toast, Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Toasted Pineapple, Gooseberry, Nuts, Herbal Tea, Dark Chocolate, Dairy, Raw Meat, Cloves, Ginger and Licorice. A hint of Leather.


Middle-Long and a bit Hot. Sweet at First but with developing Sour and Salty notes and increasing Bitterness towards the Dry end. The Sulphur is a bit more noticeable now but stays within limits. I basically find Toasted Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Toffee, Wax, Dough, Honey, Dusty Charred Oak, Orange-flavored Bitter Chocolate, Lemon, Grapefruit, Dark Berries, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Toasted Pineapple, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Mint, Nuts, Strong Espresso and hints of Artificial Sweetener, Raw Meat, Milk and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little water and that kills most of the unwanted Alcohol Heat. On the Nose it does become Malt Juice much like Cardhu. Palate & Finish improve with the Water however so my advise is to add a little bit.

Rating: 7 (*******)

Nose: 7 - Taste: 7 - Finish: 6

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note did not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. As a result I have decided to use a new rating system this year. I will still give a rating for Nose, Taste and Finish but now on the scale from 1-10 whereby 1 represents the worst and 10 the best. The sum of these numbers will be divided by 3 to get the rounded final score. I hope this new scoring makes it easier for you to understand what I thought about the whisky I'm reviewing.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink. Please let me know what you think of the new rating system and leave your comments and/or suggestions.

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good


The Craigellachie Distillery was founded around 1890/91 and is located between Craigellachie and Aberlour in Banffshire. Since 1998 it's owned by John Dewar & Sons, part of Bacardi. The core range includes the 13, 17, 23  and 33 Years. Most of the production disappears in the Dewar's Blends. The annual production currently amounts to 4.1 million litres. During our trip to Scotland in May 2014 we passed the Distillery. Unfortunately it's not open to the public.

As said above, this was my first tasting of a Single Malt that is part of the recent core range of this Distillery. I think they are on the right track with respect to their Single Malt profile but they are not quite there yet. The Spirit is quite Powerful so it needs very precise cask- and spirit safe management to extract the best of it. This 17 Years is way too Hot and Nervous for its age in my opinion. It's not really bad but I would not buy a full bottle for the time being. 


Jan van den Ende                                                                        March 23, 2023